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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger addresses report of ‘uncertainty’ about his playing future

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger spent part of his Christmas addressing a report about his playing future.

Big Ben, who is out for the season with an elbow injury, shared a photo on Wednesday morning of his family wearing matching pajamas on Christmas.

He then added a tweet saying that any report declaring he has “uncertainty” about playing again is contrary to his current mentality.

On Monday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said he had spoken to people who were unsure whether Roethlisberger would want to play again next season. Mort sent a followup report saying Roethlisberger wants and expects to play next season.

Roethlisberger passed for a career-high 5,129 yards last season but only played in two games this season before undergoing elbow surgery. He is 37, so combining his age and the nature of the injury recovery makes it natural to question the veteran’s interest in rehabbing and returning.

Report: Antonio Brown told Ben Roethlisberger ‘f— you cracker’

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger had a complicated relationship while the two were teammates with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and apparently the quarterback was not exempt from being on the receiving end of Brown’s favorite derogatory term.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke with Steelers players and other sources about Brown’s unpredictable behavior in Pittsburgh, and that included one particular locker room exchange between Brown and Roehtlisberger. A former Steelers player told Fowler that Roethlisberger tried to enforce a no-music policy in the locker room, to which Brown replied, “F— you, cracker.”

Former Pittsburgh players said Brown would usually work things out with his teammates, but his outlandish personality became exhausting at times. From the sound of it, the way he acts on social media is the same way he behaved at work.

“With him, it’s either hot or cold,” former Steelers running back Josh Harris said. “If he’s in a good mood, he’s in a great one, having a good time. Then you’ll see him another day, you’ll see his face and you don’t really want to say a lot because you know something has happened.”

It’s noteworthy that Brown allegedly called Roethlisberger a “cracker,” as that is the same term he reportedly used toward Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock during a confrontation over the summer. He was also accused of using it to describe people who were working in his house at one point.

Brown denied calling Mayock a “cracker,” but the denial has since become impossible to believe. His alleged exchange with Roethlisberger, whom he has blasted numerous times over the years, makes it even more difficult to buy.

Ben Roethlisberger reportedly still wants to play in 2019, expected to fully recover

Ben Roethlisberger

Despite a report on Monday about Ben Roethlisberger’s recovery that may have sparked some panic among Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the quarterback still has every intention of returning to the team in 2020.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said on Monday’s edition of “SportsCenter” that he has spoken with people who are not sure if Roethlisberger will want to play next season. The 37-year-old suffered an elbow injury in Week 2 that required surgery, and he had already openly contemplated retirement in the past. However, Mortensen has since backtracked with a new report that says Roethlisberger “wants and expects to play in 2020 and beyond.”

Mortensen’s colleague Adam Schefter reported back in September that Roethlisberger does not need Tommy John surgery and is expected to be good to go for 2020. Big Ben has also thrown cold water on the speculation that his injury could force him into retirement.

Roethlisberger threw for a career-high 5,129 yards last season, so he appeared to have plenty left in the tank prior to hurting his elbow. Big Ben’s doubts about his playing career in the past seem to have stemmed from frustration, and he has not given any indication to this point that his plans have changed for next season.

Report: Ben Roethlisberger ‘livid’ after being fined for wearing Apple Watch on sideline

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger returned to the sideline for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 to help the team in the wake of his elbow surgery, and he managed to get himself fined for a uniform violation despite not being in uniform.

Roethlisberger was fined $5,000 for wearing an Apple Watch on the sideline during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. NFL rules prohibit players and coaches from wearing electronic devices that can transmit messages, but Roethlisberger is “livid” that he was fined and is planning to appeal.

Here’s the best part: Roethlisberger supposedly didn’t even realize he had the watch on. His wife helped dress him since he is currently unable to use his right arm, and she strapped the watch to his wrist. The veteran quarterback feels he should have been given advanced notice from the NFL before receiving a fine letter.

Players wearing watches has become a big topic of conversation this season with Odell Beckham Jr. choosing to wear this impressive timepiece during a recent game. However, the issue with Roethlisberger’s watch is that it was one capable of sending and receiving messages. You can understand why those aren’t allowed on the sideline.

Ben Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery on Monday

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger has taken the first step towards being ready for the 2020 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback underwent elbow surgery on Monday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This had been expected since last week.

The Steelers announced a week ago that Big Ben would undergo season-ending elbow surgery after an MRI revealed the need for it. There were questions about whether he would need Tommy John surgery, which requires a lengthy rehab period. Schefter reported on Sunday that Roethlisberger did not need that procedure.

The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, one of the most renowned sports surgeons in the country, one who specializes in elbow and Tommy John surgeries.

”Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a statement via Schefter.

The Steelers have begun the season 0-3, traded away their first-round pick for next year, and reportedly believe in Mason Rudolph as Roethlisberger’s successor. Best of luck to them.

Steelers reportedly view Mason Rudolph as successor to Ben Roethlisberger

Mason Rudolph

The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely welcome Ben Roethlisberger back with the team for as long as he wants to play, but the quarterback currently starting in Big Ben’s place is the one they envision under center in the future.

The Steelers view Mason Rudolph as their successor to Roethlisberger, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday. Pittsburgh used a third-round pick on Rudolph in the draft last year, but they actually had a first-round grade on him. According to Rapoport, their confidence in Rudolph is one of the reasons they did not hesitate to trade a first-round pick for star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Rudolph’s performance through two games this season has been mixed. He completed just 14-of-27 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but obviously the sample size is very limited to this point.

There had been talk that Roethlisberger could retire in the wake of his season-ending elbow injury, but the 37-year-old was quick to throw cold water on that. However, if the Steelers aren’t going to make the playoffs this year and they truly believe Rudolph is their quarterback of the future, they are probably viewing this as a valuable opportunity for the 24-year-old to develop.

Report: Ben Roethlisberger does not need Tommy John surgery, will be ‘fine’ for 2020

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to repair an elbow injury at some point in the coming week, but the procedure he is scheduled to have is not Tommy John surgery.

Roethlisberger does not need Tommy John surgery and has no concerns about being ready to play in 2020, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“There is complete optimism that he will be ready to roll next season,” Schefter’s source said. “No one is concerned that next year is going to be a problem.”

The exact nature of Roethlisberger’s elbow injury is still unknown, but Tommy John surgery typically requires a lengthy rehab and recovery period. Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme had the procedure on his throwing elbow in 2007 and led the team to a 12-4 record the following year, but avoiding it is still a better outcome for Roethlisberger.

There was speculation that Roethlisberger could retire after it was announced that he will miss the rest of 2019, but the 37-year-old immediately threw cold water on that. He signed a two-year extension with the Steelers this offseason and said he plans to honor the contract.